The Public Relations Officer in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Abigail Hlabano, has confirmed that the amount of P21, 434, 434,36 which was paid to Daisy Loo Company by the Gaborone City Council on 24 June, 2005, but which then was immediately impounded by the police, has now been released to the Accountant General for safe keeping pending the finalization of the criminal case.
Hlabano said this comes after the recent Court of Appeal judgment, which agreed with the DPP that there is need to keep the money under a restraining order.
Daisy Loo had wanted the money to be released to it.
Asked how much the money amounted to now as it was placed in an interest making account, Hlabano said they do not have information on that as interest fluctuates.
On reports that the money was far less than what it was supposed to be, she said, “We can not speculate”.
Pressed further on what they would do if the reports turned out to be true, she said, “We can only act on information provided and on what the law requires us to do.”
Hlabano, however, pointed out that if they receive a complaint that the money was less than is supposed to be, they will act.
But other sources close to the case say that the amount which currently stands at P25, 240, 163, 43 was clearly far less than what it was supposed to be as the money was placed in an interest earning account and was expected to make roughly P250,000 per month in interest.
The source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, also said that it would not be surprising if the issue of interest that was supposed to be earned goes to Court soon.
“I will not be surprised if this issue of interest becomes the subject matter of Courts of law soon,” said the source.
The Managing Director of the First National Bank, Danny Zandamela, refused to comment on the issue, saying that he could not comment on the issue as the matter was still before the Courts of law.
Meanwhile, the criminal case related to this issue, which has led to the restraining of the cheque, is scheduled to start next month (March). In this case, the Managing Director of Daisy Loo, Moemedi Dijeng, as well as his company and some Gaborone City Council employees namely. Frank Stegling, Gilbert Sonke Sithole, Saddi Abbey and former GCC employee, Frank Molaletsi, are charged with corruption.
The state alleges that they connived to alter tender documents in favour of Daisy Loo.
The case was adjourned in the past after Terence Rannowane, the Magistrate who was presiding over it, left to become a Francistown High Court judge.
The matter will now be heard by Lobatse High Court acting Master and Registrar, Takura Charumbira.